Google+

Raising the Bar BOOK REVIEW

Raising the Bar 51hagNriuuL
by Gabrielle Douglas
Zondervan Publishing
Hardcover, $19.99
140 pages, Illustrated
ISBN: 978-0-310-74070-4

Book Review by Kam Williams

“Gabrielle Douglas is the first African-American and first woman of color from any nation to win an Olympic gold medal in the individual gymnastics all-around competition… That is a big accomplishment for a 4’11” 16 year-old from Virginia.
But she is still a normal American teen who is figuring out who she is and what’s next in her life. Dive into Gabrielle’s world from her perspective, and get to know this bubbly athlete who stole America’s heart and made an entire country cheer.”
— Excerpted from the Introduction (pg. 9)

Gold medal gymnast Gabrielle Douglas skyrocketed to fame on the strength of her nonpareil performance at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. And ever since capturing the country’s imagination, she’s been on a whirlwind tour of the TV talk shows and had her face grace millions of boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.

The talented 17 year-old role model published an autobiography last fall, and has just now released another aimed at impressionable young minds inclined to place her up on a pedestal. Entitled “Raising the Bar,” this coffee table book is more like a fancy, bound fanzine than her longer-winded, anecdote-driven memoir.

Its pages arrive filled with over a hundred, full-color photos of Gabby, both in action on the gymnastics floor and unwinding with family and friends. Betwixt and between, we’re treated to many of her favorite inspirational sayings, especially verses from Biblical scriptures that have served her well in times of trouble.

For instance, from Psalms, she quotes: “Let all that I am praise the Lord,” from Timothy, there’s “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” and from Matthew, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” In fact, we find Gabby praying that “God will keep me humble and grounded” to “be a blessing and give back to the people who have supported me.”

In terms of that support, she freely gives props not only to her mother (“Do you have any idea how many sacrifices she made to pay for my training?”) but to her sisters (“Arielle gave up ballroom dancing and Joyelle stopped ice-skating.”) and big brother (“John has always been so protective.”) She also thanks the Partons, the host family she lived with in Iowa, her coach, Liang Chow, and champions she’s looked up to like Tim Tebow, Dominique Dawes and Carly Patterson.

Besides humbly spreading around credit for her success, Gabby shares some personal info, such as her favorite books (the Twilight series), fast food (McDonald’s), clothing brands (Nike and Miss Me Jeans) and TV show (The Vampire Diaries). A kid-friendly opus which makes it easy to understand why a poised and pretty shining star never let her Olympic glory go to her head.

To order a copy of Raising the Bar, visit:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0310740703/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Entertainment

For movies opening August 18, 2017

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening August 18, 2017 BIG BUDGET FILMS The Hitman's Bodyguard (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about an ace bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) who grudgingly helps a notorious assassin (Samuel … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good For You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo

  The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo by Amy Lignor   Each and every year the Wildlife Conservation Expo is held to address situations out there that are harming our world and its animal inhabitants. This time around, WCN’s annual Fall Wildlife Conservation Expo in October, will be focusing on … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar

  How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar  by Edwin Evers When it comes to electronics, a question I get asked a lot is, “How do you customize your fish finder settings at the beginning of a day on the water?” The short answer is, “I don’t.”   You might think that a guy who makes his living with a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

College Football Arriving Soon!

  College Football Arriving Soon! by Amy Lignor   Ask any college football fan and they will tell you that it seems like an eternity waiting for the season to begin. But, have no fear, the kick-off to the college season is almost here, with Colorado State and Oregon State hitting the field on Saturday, August 26th at 2:30 p.m. ET. On … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

  Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation by Amy Lignor   Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat that not only offers all the benefits a big ocean liner offers, but also creates a more personalized, intimate vacation experience. It is a unique recipe: being able to witness … [Read More its Good for You...]